The holiday season should be a time of joy and togetherness – not stress. For extended, multi-generational families, planning a vacation can be a daunting task, especially if the holidays are the only time everyone can get together. Advance planning is a must. Thanks to Wild Planet Adventures, a world leader in wildlife travel, that process can be hassle-free and enjoyable.
First priority is finding an off-the-beaten path destination and itinerary that captivates your teens, delights your spouse, satisfies your cautious siblings, and wouldn’t be too demanding for the grandparents. The wildlife experts at Wild Planet offer five flexibly designed, fully customizable family-focused trips that accomplish those goals.
“Wildlife viewing is exciting and utilizes a wide variety of soft adventure activities, yet the pace is naturally slow, or else you’d scare the animals away,” says Josh Cohen, Director of Wild Planet Adventures (http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/). “Every aspect of a custom trip can be flexibly designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities – without holding back the more adventurous, or tiring out those who prefer a slower pace. And many of our wildlife itineraries end at the beach, offering an ideal mix to satisfy a multitude of personalities.”
Below are Wild Planet’s Top Five trips for multi-generational families seeking an authentic, non-commercial vacation escape over the year-end holidays. Each is fully customizable and exclusive, however, the use of smaller boutique, rainforest & safari lodges rather than large international corporate hotels means space is very limited, so now is the best time to book your trip.
Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife Eco-Tour: Costa Rica’s myriad of ecosystems include lowland rainforests on both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, cloudforests on top of the continental divide, whitewater and flat-water rivers, volcanoes, hot springs, beaches, and more. These vastly different ecosystems are in close proximity to each other, making travel easy, yet each destination lends itself to different adventure activities and is home to different exotic animals. For children with shorter attention spans, that means something new and exciting each day.
While Costa Rica is home to 9% of the world’s biodiversity it also boasts world class beaches –where monkeys come right down to the sand. An itinerary that reveals as many eco-systems as possible, in a comfortable, relaxed pace and then ends at a beach is ideal. Options can include multiple guides that allow activities to be operated at a choice of different paces to suit different abilities, and a choice of lodges ranging from mid-priced to ultra-luxe to suit different budgets. Named one of Fodor’s Top 10 “must-do” trips, Wild Planet’s Costa Rica “Ultimate Wildlife” eco-tour is their signature family-focused trip, ideal for ages 8-80. Nearly everything can be customized for multi-generational families. See: http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=costa-rica
Hidden Thailand Wildlife Eco-Tour: A perennial family favorite. Stay in a floating Aqua-Lodge surrounded by 3,000 ft. tall karst cliffs. Safari by long-tail boat and kayak to see wildlife such as gibbons, langurs and clouded leopards. Safari by jeep and foot in Kaeng Krachan, Thailand's largest and least visited National Park. Search for breathtaking sunbirds in Doi Inthanon cloudforest, track wild elephants in Pa La-U and enjoy the culture of Chiang Mai, including Buddhist temples, hill tribes, night-bazaars and an eco-responsible elephant camp. Snorkel the clear turquoise waters of Ko Tarutao archipelago and relax on its world-renown beaches. The more adventurous can stay in exciting tree-houses accessible by zip-lines. This fully customizable itinerary is for kids age 8 to 80 with 12-14 days suggested. See: http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=thailand
Zambia Ultimate Wildlife Safari: Zambia is one of Africa's least crowded and most wildlife-rich destinations. Families can easily see the "Big 5" (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Cape Buffalo) without being part of an armada of jeeps chasing wildlife. It's home to the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa. But one of the most exciting advantages of Zambia is that it is one of the only places in Africa where you can combine a traditional jeep safari with more intimate and unique walking and canoeing safaris, which allows multi-generational families to cater to a wider variety of adventure sensibilities, activity levels and ages. Family safari choices include flexibly designed options for walking, jeep, canoe safaris and Victoria Falls. Activities are suitable for children, adults and grandparents. Zambia’s luxury camps offer outstanding accommodations and amenities that are sure to delight even the most discriminating traveler. See: http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=zambia
Borneo “Weird & Wonderful Wildlife” Eco-Tour: Wild Planet Adventures has combined several unusual and remote eco-systems with exclusive activities, fun environmental education and high-end local naturalist guides to create what many believe to be the finest possible wildlife experience currently available in Borneo. Encounters with orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and pygmy elephants, plus special expeditions to see Borneo's endemic flying & gliding mammals and reptiles, as well as special nocturnal expeditions to see tarsiers and slow loris - two of the world's smallest and cutest primates – are all Wild Planet Adventures exclusives. Visit an Orangutan sanctuary, then track wild Orangutans in their natural habitat throughout the trip. A combination of rainforest hiking and eco-responsible river cruises in electric boats allows guests to get up close to the Orangutans, and also offer prime sightings of many of Borneo's most exciting wildlife, including Bornean gibbons, pygmy elephants, bearded pigs, flying lemurs, flying fox, marble cats and more. Then relax in a tropical island water bungalow on stilts over the turquoise waters of the Celebes Sea (one of the top fivemkjjjm dive & snorkel sites in the world) to climax the trip. See: http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=borneo&trip=weird-wonderful-wildlife-12-day-borneo
India “Leopards, Tigers & Palaces” Ultimate Wildlife Safari: Ideal for families with teens, India offers not just a typical vacation, but an opportunity to expand perspective, appreciate our blessings, and inspire meaningful contribution, all while tracking tigers, leopards, rhinos, wild elephants, barking deer, Hoolock gibbons, langurs, macaques, pythons, sarus cranes and more. Wild Planet Adventures has one of the best track records in the industry for tiger encounters, with over a 95% probability of a sighting on every trip. Cultural options include the forts, palaces and ancient observatory of Jaipur (the “blue city”) Jodhpur (the pink city), the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra, and the spiritual centers of Varanasi and Kajuraho. See: http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=india
For detailed itineraries, breathtaking wildlife photos and video galleries and booking information for pre-set and custom tours worldwide, visit http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/, call 1-800-990-4376 or email [email protected].
About Wild Planet Adventures
Recently, Wild Planet Adventures received its fifth “Worlds’ 50 Best Trips” award from the editors of National Geographic Traveler for its “On the Jaguar’s Trail; from the Pantanal to the Amazon” wildlife safari in Brazil. Previous National Geographic Traveler awards went to Wild Planet’s Thailand, Costa Rica, India, Panama wildlife eco-tours and its ultimate African safari in Zambia. Wild Planet Adventures is also recognized by other top travel publications for its wildlife-focused itineraries in Africa, Borneo, Brazil, Costa Rica, Galapagos, India, Laos, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Thailand and Zambia.